XV World Forestry Congress

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Fostering the biodiversity through a participative approach and experts' support: a new experience from Lombardy, Italy


EU Nature2000 network gathers the protected areas with habitat and species of high conservative value in the whole UE. Lombardy (Northern Italy) hosts 245 Natura2000 sites (15% of territory). Anthropogenic pressure due to land fragmentation, pollution and invasions of alien species is endangering habitats and species, while climate change is increasing the pressure.
Aiming at implementing an integrated strategy for Natura2000 in Lombardy, LIFE Integrated Project GESTIRE 2020 (IPG2020) faces the main problems concerning biodiversity in one of the areas with the highest population density in Europe.
In this fragile balance, IPG2020 introduces the Technical Facilitators (TFs): 20 experts with the task of (i) stimulating and animating stakeholders, collect their needs (ii) fostering the network between local and central authorities, finding a balance between the needs of the territories and the institutions’ objectives (iii) supporting the stakeholders on drawing up biodiversity projects (iv) researching funding opportunities.
Till mid-2020, 171 projects were financed involving 15M €, gathering public and private funds. Beyond the economic importance, this experience has the important role of influencing the methods of disbursement of funds for a better efficiency in the safeguard of biodiversity showing that biodiversity can be a transversal theme. At the very beginning funding for biodiversity was perceived as less interesting, especially for farmers. Nevertheless, the TFs' activity allowed to generate economic benefit to farmers that developed projects aimed at improving the environmental condition of their lands and forests.
During the 8 years of project, the use of Life funds has the goal of directing and merging other funds (foreseen 83M €) towards biodiversity conservation employing TFs as resource multipliers.
This experience can easily be replicated in similar regions, adapting it to the individual territorial and administrative conditions.


COMINI, BRUNA1; Bertocchi, Mattia1; Canobbio, Sergio1; Digiovinazzo, Patrizia1; Oneto, Fabrizio1; Brenna, Stefano1


1. Ente Regionale per i Servizi all'Agricoltura e alle Foreste, Milano, Lombardia, Italy.

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ST 2: Nature-based solutions for climate and biodiversity

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